I almost never remember my dreams but this one stuck with me. I had a dream last night about a young giraffe. It had done something wrong and was standing in the dirt and tied to a tall Palm tree unable to move. A group of men were standing around it and throwing rocks at it to punish it for what it had done. In the dream I stood off to the side watching helplessly. I thought to myself, “That poor giraffe, I wonder how it feels not knowing why people are throwing rocks at it.” Then a voice in my head said, “You know exactly how it feels, remember.”
Then I woke up and realized that I was the giraffe. A memory from my childhood came flooding back. I recall I was around eleven years old. Some people called me a giraffe because of my long, thin neck.
My father had recently dug a big hole in the hillside of our back yard. It wasn’t much of a yard really. It was a few acres of rocks, dirt, pine trees and ragweeds, along with a small patch of grass. In the memory I was standing in the yard and a group of boys were pushing me into the hole and throwing rocks at me. “Stone her,” they were yelling. Cornered in the hole I stood there crying and trying to protect myself with my hands, then crouched into a ball helplessly screaming with my arms wrapped around my head.
I can’t remember what I had done or said that made the boys feel justified in throwing stones at me. I don’t know that I even knew at the time it was happening. We all knew the Bible said that boys should throw rocks at girls who were bad and I had apparently done something bad in their eyes. I remember how glad I was when it was over that none of the rocks were boulders and aside from my broken self-esteem I sustained no lasting damage.
As I tune in and ask with that bigger meaning is I can see that it is a reminder, that as we heal our own individual stories and learn to see them through they eyes of compassion and understanding, we also heal our collective story.
This isn’t just my story. It is the story of masculine domination and is the story of how women were belittled and abused, simply for being women. It is the story of misinterpretation of ancient beliefs and practices for the justification of continued suffering on others who are seen as less-than. It is also the story of how we as women have risen above the misconception that dominion is synonymous with domination. It is a reminder of how we are rising above our pain stories and restoring our place in balance and harmony alongside the masculine, rather than beneath him.
It is a remembrance for all of us that as we heal our collective human story and see all of it though the eyes of compassion and understanding, we can move forward in peace and prosperity for all.